West Brom boss Keith Downing confident Saido Berahino will cope with expectations
Caretaker boss Keith Downing believes Saido Berahino can handle the hype after some impressive displays for West Brom.
Last Updated: 31/12/13 4:47pm
The 20-year-old striker has made a big impact in the Premier League this season, scoring seven goals, and has even been tipped to win a place in England's World Cup squad.
Berahino rescued the Baggies with a solo goal in Saturday's 3-3 draw at West Ham and Downing, who knows the striker well from his youth team spell, feels he will flourish in 2014.
He said: "I'm really pleased. I started here as a youth coach so I know Saido well, I've seen his progression through the age groups and he's a talent, which you've seen against West Ham.
"He's maturing, he's still got a lot to learn, but he's working with good players around him, learning every day. He just has to deal with the success.
"Like anything, you become suddenly a household name and it's difficult for a young boy to get accustomed to that.
"I think he will cope. He's got good people around him. There's me telling him off here and there, keeping him under wraps. He's got to live and learn as he goes along."
West Brom are still searching for a new manager following the sacking of Steve Clarke earlier this month.
Downing is not interested in taking the job on a permanent basis and expects the club to announce a successor after Saturday's FA Cup tie with Crystal Palace.
"The games have come thick and fast and there's no time to talk about it," he said. "It's a case of trying to keep the boys fresh and ready to go, preparing for the next game. We've got two quick ones coming round so that's the focus, and it's probably helped.
"(On Sunday) I was told to focus on the game on Wednesday and maybe the one at the weekend. I've always said I'm in a support role here. Has it whetted my appetite? Yes it has, but not (to manage) here."